Tilted earth orbiting around the sun while rotating on its axis

What am I doing wrong? I am a newbie that has searched Youtube for videos that are solving my problem, but I can’t find any. Here is what I am struggling with: https://vimeo.com/325755754

What you’re trying to do and what’s the problem?

Hi! I am trying to animate how the earth is orbiting the sun with a tilted axis. But I can’t get the tilting right.

This post explains how you can achieve that:

I couldn’t resist:

I cannot believe how I recorded this loop seamlessly by manually starting/stopping gif recorder! :exploding_head:

The tilt axis shouldn’t be rotating, it should be tilting the same direction the whole time.

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Sun - Planet Motion.blend (497.9 KB)

I used an extra empty for the planet. The planet mesh is animated (on the Z axis only), and parented to the tilt empty (The empty with x, y, z displayed on it). This is the one that controls the tilt.
Then, I used an object constraint (Copy Location) so that it follows the planet location empty, which has been parented to the sun.

Basically, the relationship goes as follows:
Animated planet mesh parented to tilt empty, constrained to planet location empty, parented to the sun.

Perfect! Thank you to both of you! Now I just have to google what constrained means. So happy!!

Object constraints are basically just modifiers but effect the whole object, and not modify it’s geometry, e.g. following a curve, copying another object’s rotation/location/scale, force an object to look towards another. That kind of stuff.


Thank you! That I understood. Blender is fascinating.

Hi Kim,

Welcome to the world of 3D and Blender.

But parenting and constraining isn’t just something in Blender, it’s part of every 3D application workflow out there.
You will see a lot of workflows can be exchanged between 3d applications with just some changes in the toolsets. It makes searching for a solution sometimes easier, as some video for e.g. Maya or Max can show you a way that is easily translated to Blender…

And don’t forget to share your result when you’r done :wink:


Thanks! My problem is that I do not know yet what I’ll be looking for. I have so
much to learn.

I stumbled over another problem. I want the sun to glow and cast sunshine at the earth. I have set the surface of the sun to emission and 1000 in strength, but the earth is still in the dark when in rendered mode. Does anyone have a suggestion?

Hi! My first animation is taking shape. Does anyone have a tip regarding how to make the sun glow while it has a surface other than white? I tried to wrap it with an image of the suns surface but I can’t make it glow at the same time.

You can use sun light type and exclude sun object of its illumination. Then you can play around sun material, self illumination material or using sun as mesh light.

Don’t try to do everything inside the render.
Often it works much better to do some parts of it in compositing.
E.g. the sun glow. Render out the textured sun, add a glow in composite, and add this result to the render of the earth.


Here is my first animation in blender. Notice there something wrong with the equator. Does anyone have a clue what I should do to get it right?